Uses of Modernism

Uses of Modernism



Call for Papers

Deadline: 15 February 2023


From the mid-1990s onwards new approaches to the study of Modernism and its cultural, geographical and chronological boundaries have been developed. This new trend in Modernism studies marks a turning point in thirty years of debates on the categories of High Modernism, Postmodernism and Late Modernism that also questions Western-centred notions of Modernism. The increasing awareness that modernity and Modernism are fraught with imperialist and (neo)colonial Western-centred perspectives has spurred numerous scholars to critically explore multiple perspectives on the boundaries of Modernism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and the transcultural, transnational and planetary extension of Modernism as a socio-cultural category (Greenblatt, Gunn, eds, 1992; Mao, Walkowitz, eds, 2006; Stanford Friedman, 2005 and 2006; Ramalho Santos, Sousa Ribeiro, eds, 2008; Somigli 2012; Connor, 2016; Havot, Walkowitz, eds, 2016; Kalliney, 2016; Moody, Ross, eds, 2020). This conference seeks to bring together scholars from various disciplines and specialisations to reconsider the Modernist concept in the wake of the post-colonial and global turn in the humanities and social sciences. More specifically, it intends to investigate the category of Modernism from a global, interartistic, interdisciplinary perspective, as well as to discuss its contemporary uses and values within the on-going decanonization and decolonization of research and teaching agendas.


Keynote speakers of the conference will be:

  • Sascha Bru (KU Leuven)
  • Tsitsi Ella Jaji (Duke University)
  • Xudong Zhang (New York University)


Interested scholars are encouraged to send their individual papers proposals, including a short bio and 300-word abstract, to by 15 February 2023. For further information about the conference, please consult our website


We invite proposals on:

  • one of the topics listed below (A);
  • one of the panels listed below (B). In this case, the proposal should include the title of both the individual paper and the relevant panel.


  1. A) Topics


– Local/Regional/National Modernisms

– Transnational/Transcultural/Global Modernism

– Late Modernism

– New Modernisms

– Modernism and World Literature

– Literary Modernism and the other arts / Modernism and Intermediality

– Modernism and religion/spirituality

– Critical evaluations of the centre-periphery dichotomy

– Political Uses of Modernism / Modernism and Politics

– Modernism and socio-political critique

– Modernism, identity and intersectionality (gender, race, class, nationality)

– The Hypermodern Condition and Hypermodernism, Metamodernism

– Teaching Modernism today


  1. B) Panels


  1. Modernist Afterlives: Critique, Literature, Theory

Organisers: Ian Ellison (University of Kent, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), John Greaney (Goethe University Frankfurt), Mimi Lu (University of Oxford).


  1. Ongoing Literary Modernity in the Lusophone Space: Interactions between World-Modernism and Peripheral Literary Modernity

Organisers: Marco Bucaioni (University of Lisbon) & Rui Sousa (University of Lisbon).


3. Absolutely Ancient, Absolutely Modern: the Modernist Fascination with Minor, Marginalized or Forgotten Ancient Cultures

Organisers: Martina Piperno (Durham University), Chiara Zampieri (KU Leuven).


  1. Modernism as World Literature: The Case of C. P. Cavafy

Organisers: Paschalis Nikolaou (Ionian University), Vicente Fernández González (University of Malaga), Ewa Róża Janion (University of Warsaw), Takis Kayalis (Hellenic Open University).


  1. Modernism, Memory, and the Uses of Radio

Organisers: Emilie Morin (University of York), Edward Allen (University of Cambridge), Birgit Van Puymbroeck (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).


  1. Silence is Golden? Language, Ineffability, and Spirituality in Modernist Poetry

Organisers: Diego Terzano (University of  Pisa), Bart Van den Bossche (University of Leuven).


  1. Making Modernism Useful: Trans-Pacific Exchanges in Postwar Japan

Organisers: Hiromi Ochi (Senshu University), Yuko Yamamoto (Chiba University), Mary A. Knighton (Aoyama Gakuin University).


  1. Modernist Poetry in Latvia: Masculinity, Hybridity, Temporality

Organisers: Kārlis Vērdiņš (University of Latvia, Washington University), Ivars Šteinbergs (University of Latvia), Artis Ostups (University of Latvia; University of Tartu).


  1. Ecologies of Modernism

Organiser: Alessandro Raveggi (University of Ca’ Foscari).


  1. Spaces of Translation: Magazines and Modernism in Post-War Europe

Organisers: Alison E. Martin (JGU, Mainz-Germersheim), Marina Popea (NTU, Nottingham, UK), Dana Steglich (JGU Mainz-Germersheim, Germany), Andrew Thacker (NTU, Nottingham, UK).


  1. Travelling the Boundaries of Modernism

Organisers: Tram Nguyen, (CUNY), Francesca Caraceni (Catholic University of Milan), Amalia Cotoi (University of Cluj-Napoca).


  1. Continuities and Discontinuities of Italian Modernism between the 1930s and the 1950s

Organisers: Erica Bellia (Cambridge University), Alessandro De Laurentiis University of Pisa), Giorgia Ghersi (University of Pisa), Michele Maiolani (University of Cambridge).


  1. Women and the Making of Literary Modernism in the Periodical Press

Organiser: Eline Batsleer (Ghent University).


  1. Spaces of Abstraction, Abstractions of Space. Modernist Science at the Crossroads of Philosophy, Literature, and Art

Organisers: Adele Guyton (University of Leuven), Nicolas Michel (University of Wuppertal), Abigael van Alst (University of Leuven), Tom Hedley (Trinity College Dublin).


Organising Committee: Eline Batsleer (Ghent University), Sarah Bonciarelli (Ghent University), Guylian Nemegeer (Ghent University), Mara Santi (Ghent University), Tiziano Toracca (University of Udine, Ghent University), Massimiliano Tortora (Sapienza University of Rome), Bart Van den Bossche (KU Leuven), Cedric Van Dijck (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Birgit Van Puymbroeck (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).


Scientific Committee: Maheen Ahmed (Ghent University), David Gullentops (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Bart Keunen (Ghent University), Mara Santi (Ghent University), Bart Van den Bossche (KU Leuven), Hans Vandevoorde (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Birgit Van Puymbroeck (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).